tv Panel Discussion on the Future of Baltimore CSPAN October 12, 2015 11:21pm-12:33am EDT
this was sufficiently unusual so they call this the model with after the 2001 arthur clarke movie where the apes were doing things on the moon and there was a big object and that was called the model with. it is still there. i have seen the pictures of that. and i think strangely it was a natural occurrence. no evidence merely one way or the of there but it disturbs people that heard me describe this on c-span
quite a few years ago. remember? now that we're getting a little closer, i changed my story because we need the support of the people that never seem to have extraordinary evidence so it is an intense effort the aliens out there for that invisible rays that communicates to earth and other planets here with some of their people. aliens. and they are invisible and there was one ride over there behind you right now. this has created a lot of interest.
and to there will think about the moon and go into bars. made all sorts of people because the public needs to support what the nation wants to repair. -- wants to do. >> the annual baltimore book fair held this past september 1 of the panel's was on the future of the city and some of the issues. >> prevent -- presented by the mayor and the office of promotion of the arts to serve from the arts council please note after you enjoy the presentation in volunteers are on hand to have be happy to except your ordinations bake you for
helping to keep the of baltimore festival free. i will start with introductions. the east side. a columnist for someone in work was published to the habit to post commandeer times, the guardian and other magazines holding a master's from johns hopkins is a college professor and also the recipient of numerous awards include a a fellowship in the best writer a word and the business journal 40 and under -- 40 and 40 west. the author of six books including a highly of kuwait -- acclaimed memoir white like me as well as white america but a new minority the rise opposed racial
politics and his next book praises the rich will be released early 2015 and has contributed to 25 additional books his essays have appeared on "huffington post" and black commentator. steve degeneres is an award with the best to give their journalist as a senior investigative reporter for his work, the unsolved murders in as the investigative reporters he has three successive emmys for the investigative series
curve the investigative journalist for the nonprofit service in baltimore. the strong black woman in american life and culture to focus on public aesthetics with lithology in the effect on individuals and on minority culture active as a public intellectual appearing with local media and is active at the university marylands civic engagement initiative and as an instructor is glasses include projects that benefit nonprofits and did 2008 recognized as an outstanding woman of color from the university honors program and there in the darkness the limits of black hip-hop and policy
specializing in the study of black racial urban politics and award winning scholar he is the distinguished book award for his book in the darkness ended to a dozen ninth and excellence in teaching a word -- a word. his next book will be up the end of october. please welcome the panelist. [applause] what i will do is start with the panel described their individual book and what it is about. >> banks for the festival i
knew i would write this i saw that they had festival that meant baltimore was literate and wanted to be in a place where they would like to read. and i am interested in the reproduction of an equality within the black space. will again in a quality across times 1929 through the present it is the shape of the you high-level slaty 29, low levels 50 now really high levels their higher now than even in during the great depression and. why? it takes the shape because of politics between the '30's and 60's with the new deal and the great society that gave workers the right to organize into a social safety nets that made
discrimination illegal with those policies were peeled back in 1970 interracial lee that has the effect with the black communities if you take that black politics approach to look what is is the black community solely as compiled -- as opposed to comparing them some people have a lot of loot or a little bit or nine and weighs the they justify why that is distributed the way it is my poor black people or were they are or what i am interested in doing with my next book.
i start at the very beginning, the 1st recorded creation stories and argue the sacred dark feminine is the same model. it's on every continent, the mother, the darkness before the male god. the darkness is there. so i often get in trouble with people who are saying these things, as you can imagine. and then i trace her through both african and european history because i argue by the time slaveowners arrived they already had the narrative. overnarrative. over and over again you see black women placed in places where they are assumed to be brilliant, strong, and interest in other people's problems.
i asked to hired a lot of them why and he said, well, they can do everything because she is a figure. strong enough that no one is going to go up against them. they can basically do everything all at once. figure that often gets place. thatvery revered, strong, wise figure is on lockdown. and often black women position themselves behind men and often when i am in an all-black situation talking, someone raises
their hand and says, well, aren't we supposed to? >> two different things for two different types of people. if you are a poor black person than is a collection of love stories, going through some type of health healthcare disparity, education disparity to the people who face the horrors of the prison industrial complex. a rich white person, than is just a guide to help you understand why we are the way we are and to help you recognize the humanity exists within all of us. you could becan be a top ranking ku klux klan member. either way, it helps you understand why america or mainstream media likes of black people the way they do.
it shows you that you are important and love and your story is relevant and you have a place in society that does so much to try to force you out. that is what i had in mind when i wrote the book and hopefully we can talk about some of those things tonight. >> most of my work deals with eradicating white supremacy,supremacy, addressing white privilege, institutional racism and singularly focuses on that. connected to that, but it also is an attempt to examine the connection between economic disparity as aa general class -based phenomenon and white supremacy as a specific aspect of that, essentially because when you look around there aretheir people talking about inequality. occupy talks about inequality, but neither occupy, white dominated
leftist movement with very little acknowledgment of white supremacy, very little acknowledgment of the role of privilege iteven within there own space not just with the larger analysis, a lot of people are talking about that but not making the connection to white supremacy. i argue the way in which the class system in the us cannot be understood absent an understanding. for the manipulation of white workers and white workers racism and adherence to white supremacy but for the manipulation of what web du bois is called the psychological wage of whiteness, it is okay. at least you're not black. without that the class system in this country would not be nearly as strong. the purpose of the book is to explore these connections and to explore how inequality gets rationalized
, and it was, you know,was, you know, as you heard, happening within black space, internal to black space and is happening within white space and to all of us in the country because we have been conditioned to believe that where you end up is about you. we have this perfect ideological mechanism for justifying inequality. in the old european feudal systems if you are a peasant you damn well knew it. that was it.that was it. you are going to have to have a revolution to get a better deal. in this country we have an ideology. you are going to run this tomorrow. you can be president, ceo, millionaire, billionaire, nobody. poor folkpoor folk in england would not have believed that. that is crap. you are lying to me, but everyone thinks they will be the next bill gates, donald trump, everyone thinks
because we have an ideology that says that. if you made it, good on you, and if you didn't, shame on you. we don't have to have solidarity, collectivity, think about each other and our relationship. we just have to double down and work 60 hours a week, 80 down and work 60 hours a week, 80 hours a week, not take vacations, and we have a system that justifies all of the disparities using racism as a way to bash poor folks by associating poverty and need with black and brown this which then ironically means that once they get associated white folks who were struggling just got cut two. your safety net doesn't exist. your labor unions are being weakened. all the stuff that provides subsidence for working people is being kicked out from the system because of the way in which all of that was racialized asked if we do for those people over there on that side of town, but we will never needed. then the economy goes into the toilet. exactly.
the racial is issue of need has led to a situation where white folks are feeling the pinch. unless we understand, talk about, and address that we will all be at the mercy of that 1/10 of 1% that owns the disproportionate amount of the wealth in this country and city and state. >> hello. i was a reporter. crime, pain, violence seen through the eyes of specifically homicide detective. some of the things a people eyewitnesses reporter, covering crime and policing and that city. the specifics, a lot of what has already been talked about. the idea is profound because an away i lived and wrote
about it, there is no path forward. thethe psychology of this idea limitations, limitations of space and limitations of people. i wrote a lot about the zero-tolerance policy where hundred thousand people were arrested year-over-year. difficult topic to get to the individual sometimes because it is such a profound effect men's i think i did some before the uprising. it certainly is something that i think hangs over the head of the city still. what we have done in the past. as a city he writes about the people here, a lot of
times the way forward is not the main focus. a lot of signs are dealing with things that happened in the past and the pain of those policies and now they have inflicted things and neighborhoods. >> the name or the title for this discussion is baltimore, the path pathbaltimore, the path forward, the future of baltimore's diverse communities and what it takes to unify cities. baltimore mayor the 1st law in the nation that directly created segregated housing a black and white homeowners. basically baltimore invented housing segregation. many of those lines that were made distinct and someone in movable. have we ever has ever been
truly unified. have we ever really been unified? >> well, i would say what i have seen as reporters during the uprising it was something that i think ai think a lot of us who cover baltimore did not think was possible. certainly during that time i was the most unifying i have ever seen the city in terms of trying to solve a problem or overcome something. generally and covering the city is fractious, small neighborhoods, small little villages, a collection of 250. sometimes they are connecting and it is very difficult. >> we are unified when the raiders win the super bowl and when the orioles win the
world series. outside of euphoria on that end of the spectrum and catastrophe, the uprising in april, i guess the point is, have we ever been in that kind of place where there was really unity to speak of? i am having difficulty remembering a time when that was true? >> definitely the super bowl, but what i think the uprise did becaus he got so much media coverage, so many people who did not believe these type of things happen but were not aware were almost forced to read about it and see it. i have never seen that many white people on north ave., pennsylvania avenue in my life. someone put a smoothie stand up. one thing that i took away from that was what to do with this energy now. so now that we know, there
question for me of nonwhite people and black people will never meet each other under any circumstances just because of the structure of the city. you know,city. you know, the bigger question for me is to go along with what you asked, now that we have this moment how we capitalize on it. >> i want to piggyback on that because most black people won't have any privilege in the city and jump back and forth. after ferguson a very affluent church north of baltimore asked me and what people of faith to do. and one of the things i said in passing, it was
baltimore. this could be baltimore, had been baltimore, been baltimore, and they were shocked. i was shocked that they were shocked. they went around asking other black people. sherry parks said this. and then this is the difference. no one is asking that question. i do think that besides sports it is important we are talking about entertainment, unified more than any other space for art and culture which is important and has been important that the art and culture sector has been working hard post the uprising to take advantage of that. >> i am goingi am going to take a different approach. i am not interested in unity. what i care about is the degree to which black and working-class populations have power, and if you look at the wealth distribution, when is its most and when is
a broad? there are moments where it was more smudged with more wealth the quality than what we have now, moments where we have more working-class power and what we have now. now. here is a way to think about it. 1990. 1990, the city of baltimore spends 145 million on policing. 2014 we spent 445 million. in the brief two or three years we arrest more citizens and there are people in baltimore. we can say objectively that that is a bad look and we can points to moments where did not happen. so what is it that differentiates those moments from this moment or from this brief ready great moment? argue that what differentiates those moments where we have more equality from this moment is the presence of a unity.
we have a presence up until freddy gray it was pretty unified amongst black and white elite. they arethey are saying that poor people are poor people because of there own actions that is unity. the solution to the city's problem was downtown development. he did not matter whether you talked about this mayor, the last mayor, the mayor before that. black, black, white. they gave the same answer. the question -- that is unity now. who wants that? so the way forward is actually unpacking what that looks like and then how we deconstruct that through political organizing and storytelling. >> all i am going to add is that right there. exactly that.
>> let's remember that just two years ago the city approved a hundred and $50 million tax break. you can walk out the sidewalk and see harbor point which is dedicating $250 million of future tax from. corporate giant command this was done without much deliberation. everyone seems to think it was aa good idea, and it was one of the six sessions. meanwhile, policing is not just the 450 million. we spent two or 300 million on postretirement benefits. technically it pretty much just covers public safety. and then you talk about giving away tax breaks and
recently passed a tax break for people who build apartment buildings and not pay taxes for ten years. the long-term commitment is going to cost every person who lives in the city pretty much most of our resources. the turn that around would be difficult, but that convergence of policing and spending on policing pretty much defines the plan that we all live with right now. there will be an historic election in april for the mayor. that will be crucial. whether you agree or not, that will be on the ballot. >> let's drill down on policing. we have constantly heard from our leaders in the city , specifically conversations with the mayor where she said over and over, we know how to deal with bikes and homicide.
talk about the miniaturization or the police state and baltimore and how it contributes to keeping groups and people separate and apart. >> i can just say this. really quickly, we as a city arrested hundred thousand people a year for seven years. ii don't think that anyone can understand the trauma of that type of policy. i think civic engagement that humans from that, i don't eveni don't even think that you can quantify that. i was witnessing it as a reporter.
said nothing. it changed the landscape of the city. a city where van to drive into a neighborhood, open up and what would call the jump out boys would come out and what people into the van. they were arresting so many people. it did not get a lot of coverage and was not in the wire, but it was real. >> we have to talk about the importance of surveillance. it is very clear and you can see in people's houses.
i made was somebody thought on the radio was an outrageous statement. apartheid in south africa. by the time i was done with incarceration rates, you do not leave the house without your id. you don't. that is a past law. day-to-day ordinary life, it may have sounded like an outrageous statement, but if you look from the top down it does not work like that. we know what that does to people. we should talk about dramatic trauma. there is a type of traumatization that happens for chronic day-to-day surveillance, and it does
not need to people who are bold and bright and the idea that if you are a young black man in baltimore and to some degree young black women, and it really does hit the men harder, the idea that you are being told to survive is to submit, that is what it means to live in a policea police state. >> the current system needs to be get it. if you are a black person, with an certain parts of western is baltimore they are not there to protect and serve come help you change flats, honestly, excuse my
language, they are there to fark you up and put you in whatever type of situation they want un. even if you talk about the officers who were charged, yes, lock them up, fire them, get rid of the. three or 400 more just like them being trained right now we will face the same thing over and over again. >> this is the function of law enforcement that has always and forever been only one thing, to control the have-nots for the benefit of the halves. there is no other purpose for police. the idea that police are there '-- to protect against the greatest harm to society is obviously crap because they would be profiling bankers and locking them up which they are not, locking up employers.
all the street criminals, roaming the liquorrobin the liquor store, robbing the bank, all of the street this combined, but you steal $100, someonestill a hundred dollars, someone cell phone, commit a hundred dollars worth of fraud and go to jail for ten years and still 12 and a half trillion dollars, and no one is going to prison. cops are not there to protect us because then they would be locking up the folks at johns hopkins made the decision to do the lead study. appmack locking up the folks at johns hopkins who clear the decision to do the lead study when they took poor black children in this community and family and use them as guinea pigs in different lead animated
apartments. it is the culture of policing, the mentality, the system, not individual officers. you can get rid of aa handful of bad officers, and the culture will guarantee you create more command when you try to speak out against that you get run out of policing which has happened in this city, and we have seen one person who has gotten in the news and been talking about the fact that he was basically run out because he acknowledged his buddies and blue were beating the crap in a criminal suspects without due process. if youif you try to be a good cop and not one of the bad apples, you're not going to be a cop anymore. they might kill you, but they will certainly not allow you to have a career.
this is like having a sausage factory and then being shocked, look at the sausage. step on the gears, do something, flip the switch, but you, but you are not going to get chicken nuggets out of a sausage factory. >> some of these could be so simple. make police officers when i was a kid they had something called the paralytic.
that was a relationship, and he lived in a neighborhood, and it worked. she had that exposure and connection. going to rough them up a little bit and take them home and give them some knowledge. they took that away. why? >> what is most important is community policing is much more effective in reducing crime. the larger question is, if the police orare not there to reduce crime, what are they therefore? between the most and least powerful,powerful, they are doing the same work at the apartheid level government. >> statistical reference, in 19501600 police officers. presently about 3,000 and a city without the population.
one of the most heavily not patrolled agencies in the country. 52 percent of our country. a unit that went around the city sort of containing zero-tolerance. a lot of the lawsuits that were featured. moved out of the city. told me before he went he did not want anything to do with the style of policing more. crime was reduced, but more importantly thecomedic -- the community felt that they had someone that understood them. that is something even though arguably we have more police and bad.
so it is a huge institution with a tremendous amount of money's going to be hard to change that culture. >> we have to think. if community policing works, why stop? we imprison more people than any other nation in the universe. there you go. his family actually sued and won. he suffered from lead poisoning himself. the neighborhood he lives in spends about a billion
dollars on incarceration. i'm pretty sure this been more residents to prison than any other neighborhood. they spend about $10 million incarcerating. >> one of the top five neighborhoods in the city. >> yes. we have seen that become social welfare policy. we take the welfare state and basically replace it with the welfare state that has a primary purpose of incarcerating and shaming its residents. >> law enforcement reform is one of the biggest issues as far as this next election in april is concerned, but let's tip the conversation a little bit. you have said -- you talk about your evolution from doughboy to a college professor to an award-winning journalist and
author, and you essentially said that reading save you. how do we make reading, education a more viable alternative? >> first reactor knowledge the problem. so many people are sitting back and thinking that everything is okay. i worked in a school system. the common theme that floats around, the most students or parents think that public schools are responsible for educating your children. so we have to break that. not supposed to be responsible for 20 percent. wasn't really given books that can pick my interest as a kid.
i get to school and all you have is mark twain. what am i going to do? if this is what you give me to read is not going to pick my interest. not only using my story is a tool to ignite. you never know who it's going to help or aspire. >> yearbook, one of the main premises. drafted into an army the fierce angels. these alluded to the fact
that black women are security guards because black women can do anything is one of the premises of the book. in a few years back we had in baltimore received a lot of attention because of this the mayor, blake was the city council president, joan brett was comptroller, and pat just me or state attorney. and you know, a lot was made of that nationally. but atbut at the same time, i remember and i'm sure all of us to, that on the front page of the sun newspaper there was an article that said the mayor prior to sheila dixon and martin o'malley literally went into a meeting with pat and commanded her to get off her fat, lazy a ss.a ss. i am asking the question the continual on one hand black women can do everything and
have this outside kind of expectation of selfishness and nurturing, but on the other hand the level of vulnerability, speak to that a little bit. >> and that is actually the point of the book, to say that black women. and. and i argue that this is the role that many women have played, but black women in this culture have been -- because of their social decision they see it as a matrix of many social events , and i argue that image has been co-opted. i interviewed a number of black women. explain that. asked her call them up. yes. how did you learn to do this?
>> tough runner girls than they are on boys. and so they are raised to not worry about themselves but everyone else in the room to the point of even middle-class women are more likely to die of stress-related disease. there is a study that has found that black women, even when they have stress-related disease do not perceive their blood pressure going up because they have to work through exhaustion. i never argue that they are working at the top of the game because they have been trained, a chapter that was about me being placed behind by guidance counselors in the community behind talented black men. you deserve this,you deserve this, but we will put him forward for this award.
you know, she was highly talented on there own. in a way i'm telling cultural stories. what a black women need to learn is that they are worth the same amount of effort that they put into everyone else. [applause] and the authors of the book said if you can convince black women to come together and work it will not only be important for black america but revolutionized the country because black women are already working on look at black lives matter. youyou see black women who are not necessarily pushing themselves forward but who are doing work. but a 1,000 grill study, and
what they found out was that black girls intended to change their communities, but they did not intend to leave their communities. they were resilient, smart. and when i say black women can do everything, i don't mean that in a flippant way. i mean,, they are being trained to do it all because of the survival. why don't you stop your tired? i can't. there is no one else to do it.it. that is what that means. yes, that black women have been co-opted by power structures both himin black culture and outside of black culture which is the example that you use. if she has turned around and called up an army of other mobilized women, black women that story might have ended differently. >> and i wonder what -- i mean, i wonder about our
community and our response to what happens when martin o'malley was allowed, if you will for lack of a better term, this is a woman who grew up in mississippi in this area south. the dynamic is fascinating, but i wonder about the black community's response and specifically the response of black men to what transpired. i wonder if we had any special responsibility to come to her aid for lack of a better term. >> i would argue black men and women have the responsibility and did not. can i ask a question as to why? >> maybe i was a kid. >> i know that you said by
them. >> except yourselves. >> yes. >> tim watts. the notion or definition of whiteness, i think, has been challenged for a long time, for generations. there was an article called on being white in other lives. give us a sense of in 2015 the context of this we have got to take our country back , what whiteness is. >> i am done with rachel. >> a lot of people are. >> i speak for millions of people i say that. i won't even bother and wastes time. but for the rest of us white
folk because she is one as well but is not clear that, the other 200 million approximately, it is important and important in the context of what we talk about with regard to baltimore and issues of police racism and violence and these things, it is important to get clear on what baldwin was clear on. baldwin famously said -- and i am paraphrasing him, the problem with white folks is that 1st and foremost we think were white, and as long as you think your wife there is no hope for you is what he said. and what he meant by that was that, when you allow yourself to believe that there is this thing called the white race, and it israel and maybe biological or scientific or even cultural, then you are already lost because there is no such thing. there never was any such thing.
there is not such thing culturally or politically. historically. not because the white race did not exist as such. european people spend most of our time killing each other before we decided to kill other people. we were just really good at doing that to ourselves. the idea that there was this team called white people that europeans -- you know, northern italians would never have believed those in the south who were not considered part of their nation and people were italian, let alone what anglers have thought that the irish were of the same group or vice versa. this idea is preposterous and is only created in the colonies of what became the united states which is essentially where whiteness gets its birth in any real sense. in the old days during the time when shakespeare was writing this, this
personally hold up as an arbiter of white literature, when the term white would be used it will often be used to keynote -- generally to connote positivity and religious literature. shakespearean time it was used to refer to people who had leprosy or various diseases. they did not -- they might have call themselves christians,christians, englishmen, whatever. it was created to take all of these disparate groups of working-class peasants with nothing and say you have nothing, but you have this. you are sort of at the end of the bench. we are notwe are not going to get you in the game unless we are winning by 30, and you are wearing a uniform that is a little raggedy. we don't like you a lot, but we like you enough. they said, here, help us
keep those folks in line. i get a badge and a weapon a gun. goodness. i'm all for that. other then, well, we need you to go fight for the homeland because if they get freed there going to take your job. zero, i don't want them to take my job. that's what happens. guess who gets the gig? so in fact low income white folks were being undermined. so all throughout history this has been a trick. if we don't understand the trick it becomes possible
for us to look at it as an uprising of irrational black skin folk as opposed to a rebellion rooted in the oppression, economic oppression of working-class and low income people which is the kind of stuff that once upon a time working-class white people engaged. ifif you go back to the colony bacons rebellion was that. the mining moore's walking with guns 1000 people deep ready to kill the national guard, the militia, whatever the hell they had at the time and they had to come out and start shooting people. as aa result of that we don't see the solidarity that has existed among working and depressed people. >> that is the crux of the question. obviously it is completely true. why does it persist.
lead poisoning, nothing is more damaging to the education system, and it certainly is a fixable problem. we spend a couple million a year on lead abatement even though we sit -- living one of the most lead infested cities in the country. the idea that you are talking about persists and still seems to have the psychological force to keep implementing policies despite failure. >> that's it. >> i love the phone you made. katrina was a system breakdown of monumental proportions. the idea that it broke down and was a failure come you can only believe that,
normally it was good. the system was producing exactly the outcome it was intended to produce. so that means they want to be allies in there trying to do multi racial solidarity. all we are defining a success is different and rooted in hostility to blackness, indigenous people, people of color that we will literallypeople literally sacrifice our self-interest on the altar of white supremacy. we have had to begin standing up and steering resources and attention so that they can solve those problems. it is clear the majority of us will not see it. those of us who do have to
make sure the people who live in diet have the power to make a decision. >> i don't know if it will happen enough, but we have been having these revelations of asus videos and songs and e-mails. these are things that people did not know. some white people are starting to call out other people. i think that is the beginning of something. some things are beginning to happen that did not 20 years ago. >> ii want to push back against a couple of comments. if we work on the assumption that what our issue is his teaching black kids how to read, that that is actually
the fundamental problem, the reason we have a crime problem, i mean, we kind of miss -- i am willing to bet -- i am a political scientist, and i am willing to bet that the people doing the most reading at dictionaries i am back kids wind to be in season wanting dexterity in their language. but we have gotten is an economy problem. if we focus on black kids learning how to read what we will miss his sei baltimore we only have three high schools who routinely send kids which is a structural problem. the other thingthe other thing i would like to push back against in a different way, we are missing that there is not just a psychological way to whiteness the material wage. if you look. the fundamental issue is the problem of the red line, not the red line at hogan but the red line, that
technology used to determine who got housing money and who did not. if you take every single problem baltimore has an layer that 1930 redlined map on top of it, every single problem is concentrated. there is a material wage people get when they are outside of that redlined. so the reason i talk about material wage is because there is a way when we transition, where the political result of the psychological way is not always, but a lot of times is therapy. what we need to do is teach white people about themselves, teach people to check their privilege, teach people,, no, it is a political problem. you need therapy, yes.
but we have to separate that therapeutic dynamic from political organizing. those are two different projects. >> i agree with almost everything you just said, but i spent a lot of time with a lot of rappers in the city. you know, and when he talks about that is an issue, i was not saying that are easing -- reading is not the only answer, it's what works for me. we push these kids through the school system but are not creating thinkers. they're creating people who don't think. that was the tool to help me another question, the whole idea of if i am a poor white
person in america and not have money, resources, teeth, or the ability to dance, the only thing i have is that i don't have to be black comeau why would i want to acknowledge privilege? >> there is a great question. you brought up the pop. i was listening to black on both sides, staff. we are hip-hop. you want to know how black people are doing, let's see how hip-hop is doing. how are we doing, if we think about where hip-hop is in 2015, what are your thoughts on where we are is a community if that equation is accurate? that is a loaded question. i'm going to take a piece of it. when i talk about neoliberalism, it is this idea that we have to become increasingly entrepreneurial
, the perfect person is not the citizen but the entrepreneur. i talk about the prosperity gospel with the bible basically becomes an entrepreneurial self-help guide. if there is a phrase that communicates that, the phrase, just one phrase, i'm not a businessman, i'm a business man, why can you handle my business down. that is jay-z and puff daddy's -- no, kanye west, sierra leone remakes. you have more hip-hop and weirder hip-hop than ever before was later the internet and other spaces, but if you look mainstream what you have got is this then thread that articulates the same type of political methods that a number of us are fighting against, the whole thing and is about
getting paid, and if you are on the wrong end, you are on the wrong end because it's your fault, not because of something systemic. [applause] you probably don't expect me to come in on hip-hop. but, if you look at hip-hop, specifically the component in other places, brazil, lebanon, poland, you see it fulfilling its political potential in ways that it has not, at least in the mainstream in the united states. the reason we have to look at that is it has been commercialized and completely co-opted. >> i will go ahead and plug your show which talks about hip-hop in the global kind of perspective which i think is back to what was talked
about. go ahead. >> i guessi guess the best way to understand it is to look up like film. hip-hop started as a voice of the people. now it is the voice of capitalism. many of those people to make those films, he made sweet back, they didn't know. he tricked them. he ended up getting away, and they saw the energy and how people reacted. they made that film required viewing. so the energy was there. they took the hero away from corporate america. they stopped the revolutionary from being the hero. the same thing happened with rap. it is easy to get it stripped because they have the resources and abilities to distributed to everybody. they can create the message.
[applause] >> let's talk about, we alluded to it earlier. let'slet's talk about the election coming up in april of 2016. the mayor is not running for reelection, but my question is a bit of a broader question. can we continue on operating within the infrastructure, the political infrastructure we have operated under, mostly black lead for the past several decades? can we continue to operate under this political infrastructure and be successful going forward? >> well, as you reported covering city hall, i don't think so. as i talked about before, the unity is not sustainable physically but it is also almost impossible to change, it appears, regardless of the facts.
each successive mayor has adopted those policies. the expensive and heavy-handed policing have persisted despite plenty of evidence that they will not work in the long run in the evidence we see right before us. i really think a candidate has to come out of nowhere or change the political alliances that have created a machine that existed before. in order for the city to change its direction it has to be dismantled on some level. >> anyone else? >> we have to work outside of the political sphere. we have been talking about segregation is a bad thing. look,. look, it used to be a very rich, black, public fear command i think we have to find ways to re-create that the takes care of a lot of the function. i was raised by whole street.
they took care of those functions in a way that we are now offloading to the state and the status of doing. we have to re-create those functions outside of the political. >> because studies show that encounters with the criminal justice system decreased civic engagement, we have a huge civic engagement deficit in baltimore that will be difficult to replace because of where we are at this point, and the other big problem is the mayor is so powerful that unless we have someone in there for a radically different perspective, we overhaul or change the structure of city government and it will take something radical just to shift the perspective of the city and the way we facilitate what you're talking about. >> the one benefit, we have a strong mayor system. the mayor controls most of the power in the city. there are structural dynamics. we have to change the city charter to work with that.
we are closer to that than we have ever been. i think what we have gotten now with a combination of the freddie great uprising, the politics around that and the occupy baltimore which occurred a few years before that, we have a couple of powerful radical tendencies that give us the opportunity to do something, the best thing that the mayor could have done was decide not to run because what that does is creates the space bar more competition. in sheila dixon's case someone argue that she would have been -- issue basically had the election on lock because all she had to do was talk about what the mayor didn't do. she has to run on her record. her record a shaky. that gives that gives other candidates possibility to
kind of run on there own record and it gives us, folks who are interested an opportunity to ingest this economic narrative that i think is going to be the most important narrative that we need somebody to take hold of. >> i want to agree to that end add something. with ron out of the race the money candidate is out of the race. she had a huge bankroll. we have to look at who is backing the mayor. and so as that creates a vacuum, and in that vacuum we can have different kinds of conversations. >> i am not even excited about the election. if you want to make a difference, look in the mirror and figure out what your job is, how you can get in these communities and take the skills you learned in college or whatever skills you have and share them with the people who don't have access to those resources. [applause] ..
>> before freddie you was murdered there is a incidents of police brutality those that have been organized the approximately 820 days around the death of tyrone organizing every wednesday if you are interested the man to my left have been organizing for weeks and what we have to do is talk about people who were doing activist work and organizing on the ground. >>. >> talk about sisters doing work. >> they m